The purest carbon steel in existence would be pure iron alloyed with pure carbon, and no trace elements. This is not a desirable recipe for knife steel. Purity != better.
Also, the question of price difference. I'll say it again: EVERYTHING costs what it does for one primary reason. Because that is what people will pay. There are other factors, like margins, sweat equity, premium/bargain incentives, and whatnot...but the one reason prices are the way they are is because someone is willing pay that amount for that thing.
As for Blue vs White steels, IIRC, those are Hitachi steels that aren't fully disclosed regarding their composition--heck, they are named after the color of paper they were sold wrapped in! People learn to work with them through practice and training, not because they are considering the individual elements and their properties, so results will vary widely depending on what makers choose to do with them.
In my experience, white is easier to sharpen, gets sharper, but dulls quicker. Blue takes a little longer to sharpen, holds an edge longer, but doesn’t quite get as sharp. I haven’t tried AS, but have read that it combines the edge acuteness of white with the edge retention of blue. I think steels of this caliber are all excellent and differences between them are pretty subtle. As mentioned, the steel itself is just one part of the puzzle.
What is it that you do with the knives that tells you that one achieves greater sharpness than another?
do you also notice that some get sharper than others? do you spend the same amount of time on each stone regardless of the blade? maybe i should start a thread...
i was making a joke. i'll post in the new thread.
Iím able to get white or blue more than sharp enough to exceed my functional needs. Striving to push them further or to "stupid sharp" is more about me working on my sharpening skills and satisfying my own curiosity.
For the most part I go through the same sharpening routine / use the same stuff, if anything I use more strokes with blue b/c itís more wear resistance than white.
Thus far, I can get white sharp enough to whittle a strand of hair, touch and bleed (no pain like getting cut by a shard of glass) and almost do that push cut through a tomato thing. With blue, my best efforts canít quite whittle hair or push cut through a tomato without a bit of draw.
I see. Thanks!
i think i'm finally starting to really run into steel differences. my Mizuno blue and my Shigefusa are both sharpened to the same keenness, and i've put high, aggressive bevels on the Mizuno, so there isn't much of a way of a difference in edge thickness (in fact, i think the Mizuno might be a little thinner behind the edge, now, than the Shigi). however, the Shigefusa cuts better. it feels both toothy and slick like glass. it glides through things the way slick Blue does, but grabs into the food, almost eagerly, like toothy White. i haven't been able to get the Blue steel to act that way (White always feels toothy to me, and i think it might be why people think it gets sharper than Blue). i wish i knew more about the "spicy steel."